News Features

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015
Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015
Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.
Republic of Congo ratifies the Ban Amendment
Deposit of instrument by Congo brings total number of ratifications to 80 Parties!

Republic of Congo ratifies the Ban Amendment

Republic of Congo ratifies the Ban Amendment
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Eleventh meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee invites comments from parties and others
Comments are sought on the Manual for the implementation of the Convention and on the classification of compliance performance with national reporting.

Eleventh meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee invites comments from parties and others

Eleventh meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee invites comments from parties and others
Comments are sought on the Manual for the implementation of the Convention and on the classification of compliance performance with national reporting.
The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available
The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

The October issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

Colombia ratifies the Ban Amendment
Scoring a goal for environmentally sound management of wastes, Colombia’s action raises the total number of Parties to the Ban Amendment to 79.

Colombia ratifies the Ban Amendment

Colombia ratifies the Ban Amendment
Scoring a goal for environmentally sound management of wastes, Colombia’s action raises the total number of Parties to the Ban Amendment to 79.
May Webinars shine light on candidate POPs under review and PCBs inventories
Join the Webinars on Chemicals under Review by POPRC, 6 May, and enhancing PCB inventories, 13 and 15 May 2014.

May Webinars shine light on candidate POPs under review and PCBs inventories

May Webinars shine light on candidate POPs under review and PCBs inventories
Join the Webinars on Chemicals under Review by POPRC, 6 May, and enhancing PCB inventories, 13 and 15 May 2014.
Kerstin Stendahl appointed Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Since April 2014, Kerstin has served as Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Kerstin joined the Secretariat as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in November 2012.

Kerstin Stendahl appointed Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Kerstin Stendahl appointed Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Since April 2014, Kerstin has served as Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Kerstin joined the Secretariat as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in November 2012.

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes
17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions
Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

The Pilot training session on chairing meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions took place in Glion, Switzerland, from 3 to 5 March 2014. The training was conducted by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University in cooperation with the Secretariat. It brought together 17 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Cook Islands, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Poland, the Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, and Switzerland.

The participants benefited from experience of former chairs who led various BRS processes, including the conferences of the parties, meetings of subsidiary bodies, contact groups and informal consultations. Through the combination of lectures, case studies, videos and simulation exercises the participants learned firsthand how to effectively chair intergovernmental meetings and guide them toward consensual outcomes.

“The pilot raining extends the conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons, ensuring that we can call upon experienced chairs from all regions, while maintaining gender and regional diversity among them,” said Kerstin Stendahl, BRS Deputy Executive Secretary.

The training session was held through the generous support of the Government of Switzerland.
São Tomé and Príncipe accedes to the Basel Convention
The accession of São Tomé and Príncipe raises the number of Parties to the Convention to 181.

São Tomé and Príncipe accedes to the Basel Convention

São Tomé and Príncipe accedes to the Basel Convention
The accession of São Tomé and Príncipe raises the number of Parties to the Convention to 181.
Pretoria hosts 3rd Global workshop on facilitation of entry into force of the Ban Amendment
The Global workshop on 18 – 19 February 2014 is being organized with the support of BCRC-South Africa.

Pretoria hosts 3rd Global workshop on facilitation of entry into force of the Ban Amendment

Pretoria hosts 3rd Global workshop on facilitation of entry into force of the Ban Amendment
The Global workshop on 18 – 19 February 2014 is being organized with the support of BCRC-South Africa.
Tons of illegal waste seized under Operation Demeter III
Customs officials continue to demonstrate leadership in preventing and combating the illegal trafficking of hazardous wastes.

Tons of illegal waste seized under Operation Demeter III

Tons of illegal waste seized under Operation Demeter III
Customs officials continue to demonstrate leadership in preventing and combating the illegal trafficking of hazardous wastes.
Nominations to the Basel Waste Solutions Circle are open
Global initiative to promote the protection of human health and livelihood through the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes worldwide is accepting nominations by 31 December 2014.

Nominations to the Basel Waste Solutions Circle are open

Nominations to the Basel Waste Solutions Circle are open
Global initiative to promote the protection of human health and livelihood through the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes worldwide is accepting nominations by 31 December 2014.
Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year 2014
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year 2014

Season's Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year 2014

From the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year 2013
Regional Centres aim to score a goal against chemical contamination
At annual joint meeting Regional Centres of the Basel and Stockholm conventions exchange plans for evaluating performance and sustainability

Regional Centres aim to score a goal against chemical contamination

Regional Centres aim to score a goal against chemical contamination
At annual joint meeting Regional Centres of the Basel and Stockholm conventions exchange plans for evaluating performance and sustainability
e-Waste Recycling Technologies Patent Landscape Report
Launch of the WIPO Patent Landscape Report on e-Waste Recycling Technologies, International Environment House II, 12 December 2013

e-Waste Recycling Technologies Patent Landscape Report

e-Waste Recycling Technologies Patent Landscape Report
Launch of the WIPO Patent Landscape Report on e-Waste Recycling Technologies, International Environment House II, 12 December 2013
Final report of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention released
The final report has been published in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Final report of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention released

Final report of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention released
The final report has been published in the six official languages of the United Nations.
Training extends conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons
A pilot training on chairing meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions will be offered in Glion, Switzerland, from 3 to 5 March 2014

Training extends conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

Training extends conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

Place and Date: Glion, Switzerland, from 3 to 5 March 2014

Background: In order to strengthen the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, and build synergies, there is a need to expand the number and diversity of trained, confident and willing chairs for the various meetings of the conventions.  These may include ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the Parties, subsidiary bodies and contact and drafting groups as well as other meetings.

While the three conventions have enjoyed good fortune in the past in finding qualified chairs for their meetings, there are challenges in finding willing and experienced chairs from all regions and in maintaining gender and regional diversity among the chairs.

Electronic Reporting System makes reporting ‘a snap’
To ease the burden of reporting, the Secretariat has launched the new Electronic Reporting System  of the Basel Convention. Beginning 7 November 2013, the new Electronic Reporting System enables Parties to submit their annual national reports online.

Electronic Reporting System makes reporting ‘a snap’

Electronic Reporting System makes reporting ‘a snap’

To ease the burden of reporting, the Secretariat has launched the new Electronic Reporting System of the Basel Convention. Beginning 7 November 2013, the new Electronic Reporting System enables Parties to submit their annual national reports online.

The new system will speed the submissions of national reports. It operates similarly to the Electronic Reporting System of the Stockholm Convention. Parties are invited to complete the online questionnaire using data for the year 2012 and to submit it to the Secretariat through their focal points by 31 December 2013. To learn how the tool works, focal points can attend one of a series of webinars and online meetings. The Electronic Reporting System of the Basel Convention is the latest addition to the family of online information tools offered to support implementation of the Convention.  The Convention’s Data Visualization Tool on the Generation, Export and Import of Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes was launched in April 2013.

For more information: please contact Ms. Carla Valle-Klann, e-mail: carla.valle@unep.org.

6th Physical Meeting of the PACE Working Group promotes environmentally sound management of end-of-life computing equipment
The 6th physical meeting of the PACE Working Group was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 23 to 25 September 2013. The meeting was organized by the Basel Convention Regional Centre in South Africa. The Working Group reviewed the status of activities under PACE, obtained reports from co-chairs of the six project groups on their priority activities, reviewed and approved the PACE budget, and discussed which short- and long-term role PACE should play in view of the outcomes of the 11th...

6th Physical Meeting of the PACE Working Group promotes environmentally sound management of end-of-life computing equipment

6th Physical Meeting of the PACE Working Group promotes environmentally sound management of end-of-life computing equipment
The Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) is a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership that provides a forum for representatives of personal computer manufacturers, recyclers, international organizations, associations, academia, environmental groups and governments to tackle environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life computing equipment.

The 6th physical meeting of the PACE Working Group was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 23 to 25 September 2013. The meeting was organized by the Africa Institute for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes, which serves as the Basel Convention Regional Centre for English-speaking African countries in South Africa.

The Working Group reviewed the status of activities under PACE, obtained reports from co-chairs of the six project groups on their priority activities, reviewed and approved the PACE budget, and discussed which short- and long-term role PACE should play in view of the outcomes of the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention in matters related to e-waste.

PACE’s six project groups address, respectively:
  • Environmentally Sound Refurbishment/Repair of Used Computing Equipment 
  • Environmentally Sound Material Recovery/Recycling of End-of-Life Computing Equipment
  • Collection and Management of End of Life Computing Equipment from Informal Sectors 
  • Awareness Raising and Training 
  • Strategies, Actions and Incentives to promote Environmentally Sound Management 
  • Transboundary Movement of Used and End-of-Life Computing Equipment
The PACE Working Group operates under the guidance of the Basel Convention Open-ended Working Group (OEWG). The OEWG will consider the report of the PACE, including its recommendations, and based on these and the outcome of discussions submit recommendations to the Conference of the Parties at its twelfth meeting, which will be held in May 2015, for its consideration and possible adoption.
Workshop on the prosecution of illegal traffic helps assess challenges in enforcing the Basel Convention
Legal responses to illegal traffic found to have merit, but opinions diverge on their effectiveness.  

Workshop on the prosecution of illegal traffic helps assess challenges in enforcing the Basel Convention

Workshop on the prosecution of illegal traffic helps assess challenges in enforcing the Basel Convention

The workshop for Central and South America on the prosecution of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes under the Basel Convention was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 28 to 29 August 2013.

The workshop provided training for prosecutors, law enforcement experts and lawyers, based on the Basel Convention's instruction manual on the prosecution of illegal traffic in hazardous wastes.  Prosecutors and legal officers from 13 countries attended the event, including officers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

They were joined by Experts from the European Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of environmental Law (IMPEL) Cluster Transfrontier shipment of waste (TFS) Environmental Prosecutors Network, Latin American Environmental Prosecutors Network (LAEPN), UNEP Regional Office for Latin American Countries (ROLAC), Interpol and the CITES Secretariat. 

The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the Basel Convention Regional Center – Argentina.

Among the challenges identified were weaknesses in the national legal and institutional frameworks, such as incomplete implementing legislation  – lack of a clear definition of the crime, of adequate penalties and of clear procedures. Participants felt that the various legal responses to illegal traffic  – administrative, civil, criminal, alternative dispute resolution, each have their own merit, however opinions diverged with respect to their respective effectiveness.  The need for clarity as to when a specific procedure may be initiated and on the relationship between the various procedures (parallel, successive, alternative) was also highlighted.

Participants underscored that cases of illegal traffic are complex and require substantial capacity: an improper investigation can mean that a case cannot ultimately be brought forward. Therefore, besides training, participants called for access to adequate resources, for instance laboratories to identify wastes, and access to technical knowledge.

Finally, cooperation at the national level was identified as a challenge and the establishment of interagency teams involving all relevant agencies was suggested.

Based on real cases, participants also explored the practical and legal challenges in preparing a case for prosecution in particular with respect to the distinction between waste and non-waste, and the need for developing a common understanding of this distinction. Issues of jurisdiction (which State prosecutes and for which offense?) were also discussed, as well as the challenges associated with the take back of illegal shipments.

A first workshop had been held in Bratislava in June 2012 for prosecutors from Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia countries.

The series of workshops are funded through the European Union under the Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Energy (ENRTP).

 

E-waste at the ITU Green Standards Week
A Forum on Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste examines best practice for designing e-waste management systems, Madrid, Spain, 16 September 2013.  

E-waste at the ITU Green Standards Week

E-waste at the ITU Green Standards Week

In the context of the ITU Green Standards Week, the UNEP Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions together with ITU, UNU, and CEDARE is organizing on 16 September 2013 a one-day Forum on Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste.

The Green Standards Week is organized by ITU from 16 to 20 September 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  Hosted by Telefónica, it will bring together leading specialists in the field, from top policy-makers to engineers, designers, planners, government officials, regulators, standards experts and others.

The main purpose of the E-waste Forum is to discuss the quantification and qualification of the e-waste challenge, the role of policies, standards and regulations and best practices for designing e-waste management systems.

Download the Green Standards Week brochure.

For further information, see: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/Workshops-and-Seminars/gsw/201309/Pages/programme-16-Sep.aspx

 

Report of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention released
An advance copy of the Basel Convention COP-11 report is available in English.  

Report of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention released

Report of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention released

An advance copy of the Basel Convention COP-11 report is available in English.

 

Regional Fair accents "Synergies through regional delivery"
The Regional Fair Roundtable ‘Synergies through regional delivery’ examines barrier and opportunities to enhance delivery of services to parties at regional and national level.

Regional Fair accents "Synergies through regional delivery"

Regional Fair accents "Synergies through regional delivery"

Conferences' presidents Franz Perrez, Magdalena Balicka and Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez will inaugurate the Regional Fair dedicated to ‘Synergies through regional delivery’ on Wednesday evening, 1 May, kicking off three days of activities of the theme at the 2013 COPs.

The Fair's inaugural ceremony will take place on 1 May at 6:15 p.m. in the CICG exhibition area.

The main aim of the Regional Fair is to enhance the relation between the regional centres, donors and countries served by the centres, highlight the capacity building activities and projects of the regional centres and demonstrate what expertise, capacities the regional centres have which could be mobilized to assist Parties in the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Immediately after the opening ceremony, the Regional Fair Roundtable will be held to explore synergies through regional delivery. Panelists will be invited to discuss any barriers to permitting regional centres to serve parties in implementing all three convention; opportunities for enhancing cooperation between centres and with regional offices of UNEP and FAO; and how to secure long-term financing and support for achieving the 2020 goal of sound management of chemicals and wastes.

The Panelists for the Roundtable are:

  • Ms. Jill Hanna, European Commission;
  • Ms. Fiorella Leon, Peru;
  • Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, Director, Basel Convention Regional Centre for the African Region;
  • Dr. Jinhui Li, Executive Director, Basel Convention Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific/Stockholm Regional Centre in China;
  • Mr. Ibahim Sow, Secretariat of the Global Environment Facility.

Ms. Maria Cristina Cardenas, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, will introduce the topic for discussion; and Mr. Michael Jones, Secretariat, will moderate the panel.

The Regional Fair will conclude with an awards ceremony at 6:15 p.m. on 3 May.

The tentative schedule of side events includes further information on Regional Fair side events.

Download the Basel and Stockholm conventions Regional Centres and FAO, UNEP regional offices brochure.

Download the Regional Fair Programme

New study investigates cost effective, environmentally sound alternatives to beaching method of ship recycling
A feasibility study identifies cost effective, environmentally sound alternatives to the beaching method of ship recycling.  

New study investigates cost effective, environmentally sound alternatives to beaching method of ship recycling

New study investigates cost effective, environmentally sound alternatives to beaching method of ship recycling

A feasibility study, commissioned by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and funded by the European Commission, identifies cost effective, environmentally sound alternatives to the beaching method of ship recycling.

The study builds on the findings of a case study, also commissioned by the Secretariat in 2012, which identified the operational, procedural and infrastructural requirements for existing facilities to work towards compliance with the Basel Convention and the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Taken together, these studies aim to assist stakeholders involved in the industry to ensure the principles of environmentally sound management are upheld in the context of ship recycling.

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